Every year I tell myself, “I am not going to buy any books at this year’s sale”. But then I get tempted to go peek at least, and I always end up walking out with some books in spite of what I said before. So, the book sale was my morning’s aim!
We had a nightmare of a morning here. First day back to school after the sports’ holiday. “Kitty” put on his tennis shoes at 7:20 and I just said “forget it, it is February and you are no wearing those shoes to school!Take them off and put your winter boots on, that I spent a fortune on!”. He screamed, refused and finally I had to threaten him and say that either he took them off or I would call on Daniel to come down and pull the shoes off his feet. I was not going to risk my French Manicure nails on a hysterical child with ADHD trying to keep the shoes on. He took off the shoes, put on his boots, walked out the door and slammed the door so hard that almost everything fell off the walls. The others left late, 15 minutes later, and I went in to the shower, after I had put on the children’s channel on TV, for “Gubby”. When I was standing there, 7:50, the door bell rang. I called on Daniel, who did not come down. Instead “Gubby” opened the door and suddenly “Kitty” was standing in the bathroom screaming at me that “Cookie” swore at him by the bus, so he came home again. At that time, my mobile phone started ringing. And I stood there with water running, trying to wash myself. I could not answer the phone that rang and rang. Finally “Kitty” came with the home phone and I had to answer with wet hands. It was “Cookie” screaming that they had missed the bus because “Kitty” had discovered that he had forgot his watch at home and had got hysterical when “Cookie” told him that there was no time to go home for it. And she told me that she had to be on time for school today, because they were going to the theater. I stood there naked and what could I do? I told her to stay there and I would have to drive them to school but I would be a while. I got out of the shower, and noticed that “Kitty” had left again. Now I phoned T. telling him that he had to notify school that they would be late and we were both trying to get hold of “Cookie” without any success. So I got dressed in a hurry and Daniel dressed “Gubby”. Then I got a phone call from T. that “Cookie” had taken the bus with the gang after all, but another number that goes slower, since it has more stops and a wider circle to go.
Daniel came with me to look at the sale and of course found four military history books that he just had to have. Sigh! Expensive to bring him with me. But its nice with company and having a sounding board. Even though he finds some of my favourites weird! Two of the books I wanted badly, were sold out downtown so I had to drive to the mall, to see if they might still have any copies there. And they did. If one shopped between 7:00-10:00, one got to buy 4 for the price of 3 which was a great help. The hard to find books were “Alone in Berlin” by Hans Fallada. I have had it in my wish list at amazon since we visited Dachau and the lady in the bookshop there said that it was a very, very good book. Well, everyone in Lund wants it since everyone was asking for it downtown and they had sold out within minutes. It’s a novel about a couple who resisted the nazis after they received notification that their son had died at the front. The backside says that it is a moral thriller. It’s 690 pages long, and I don’t like to borrow long novels like that from the library, because it can take quite some time to get through that many pages, if the children do not let me read. Otherwise, I usually refrain myself from buying novels at the book sale, since you read them once and then not again. Might as well borrow them at the library then! The other hard to find one is a classic which I have seen as a film with Tilda Swinton: Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando”. Yes it is a weird film. T. hates it. But I’ve seen it three times and it sort of grows on you. Don’t know why? So now I will get to read about Orlando who moves from being Elizabeth I’s lover to waking up in Constantinople as a woman. He/she moves through the centuries, going back and forth between genders, since she has decided not to age.
Then I bought two history books I have had my eyes on for over a year now, but no way was I going to pay over 300 ( €33.60, 27.64 pounds , $46) or more, for either. Books in Sweden are outrageously priced now! Maybe one day, Diane Ducret’s book “The dictators’ women” will be translated in to English. As for now, it is only available in French, German and actually Swedish. It’s about the women who the powerful men couldn’t live without and turned to when they felt powerless. They were wives, mistresses, muses, admirers och friends. The common denominator was that they were all deceived and sacrificed. The dictators in question being Benito Mussolini, Lenin, Stalin, António Salazar, Mao, Ceausescu and Adolf Hitler. The second history book I bought was a Guido Knopp’s book that does not seem to be translated in to English yet, either: “The Military Power of Hitler Die Wehrmacht 1935-1945″. I think it will be a good book since it says that” Die Wehrmacht consisted of 18 million soldiers, of these 5 million would not survive the war. Many of the soldiers were victims themselves, but many were guilty of serious atrocities. Far too few stood up against the oppressive nazi regime. In chapters like “Attack on Europe” and “Fighting to the downfall” Guido Knopp dispels myths about Hitler’s super army. Die Wehrmacht controlled half Europe, were guilty of serious crimes and went from total war to total defeat. Guido Knopp shows how the army worked as an important instrument of power in the hands of Hitler and he looks at the roles that the different actors played, from general to private. In his work, he has taken advantage of the possibility of asking the last surviving witnesses and he supports his research on previously unknown historical sources.” (My translation entirely.)
The next two books I chose from the debate and society genre. One book is one that I have had my eyes on since the publication a year ago. I saw a book program with the author as a guest. He talked so well about his book and that it ought to be a must-read in all schools and at all universities. I agree when you read the back of Henrik Arnstad’s book “Beloved Fascism The black-brownish movement’s ideology and history”: “For the first time in Swedish; a modern account of our time’s most innovative ideology: Fascism. From the in-between war years’ Italian Blackshirts under Mussolini, via Adolf Hitler’s German Nazis, Romanian Legionaries, Spanish Falangists, Hungarian Arrow Cross, Finnish Lappomän, and so on, ending with today’s Sweden-Democrats and Anders Behring Breivik’s terrorism. The author Henrik Arnstad describes modern science’s answer to the question: What is fascism? This grass-root ultra-nationalism is the most detested ideology, with a result that spells Auschwitz-Birkenau and the Holocaust. After 1945 the ideology was devaluated of content. Fascism became an empty political word of abuse, that was used both in the east and the west during the cold war. But since the wall’s coming down, the international reasearch was vitalized and have come up with new revolutionary results. These have not reached Sweden until now. But it is a last-minute thing, since the ideology once again has reached influence in the European parliaments. The book is divided in to nine themes that deal with the genesis of the fascism, the road to power, global spreading and influence, the relationship to other ideologies and traditional right-wing politics, racism and holocaust, female fascists and the ideology’s genus perspective as well as today’s neo-fascist movements.” (My translation. He is right, this is a book everyone should read in order to stop them before they get too powerful.
The second debate and society book I bought was “Faith and Power: Religion and Politics in the Middle East” by Bernard Lewis. It’s full of lectures that he has given around the world, on how religion in the region affects society and the region’s politics. The lectures are 1) License to kill Usama bin Ladin’s decree of Jihad, 2) Europe and Islam, 3) Religion and Politics in Islam and Judaism, 4) Islam and liberal democracy, 5) Free at last? The Arab World in the 21st Century, 6) Gender and the struggle of civilisations, 7) Democracy and religion in the Middle East, 8) Democracy, Legitimacy and Sequence of Power in the Middle East, 9) The importance of History, 10) Freedom and Justice in Islam and 11) Islam and Europe.
The final book that I bought for myself was a book that Daniel thought was pointless. The choice stood between Lena Einhorn’s novel “Siri” about August Strindberg’s wife Siri von Essen and a book on how to crochet soft animals like the cutest penguin, teddy bear etc. and a book about Art Deco. Daniel thought I should get the “Siri” one since we both find August Strindberg an idiot. But I have seen that book at our local library so why get it when it’s not a biography, but a novel? And is anyone interested in receiving a crocheted animal? I let my heart speak. I LOVE Art Deco art, jewelry and much of the furniture/interior design items. So it is a book you sit and admire. One of my favourite painters is Mucha, and of course this book has lots of his work as well Lautrec, Gaudi, … In other words a very, very beautiful book by Rosalind Ormiston and Michael Robinson! Funny thing is, I now have Gustav Klimt’s painting above, on both the front of this book but also on my eye-glass case!
For those of you in Sweden right now, who read Swedish, NOW is a good time to stock up on books. You can buy them at a fraction of the normal cost and most of them will go out of print, when the sale is finished. The sale is the death sentence for most of the books on the sale, except the classics.